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Detection of proteins: We know how to build better locks for chemical keys

Date:
October 29, 2015
Source:
Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Summary:
It will be increasingly difficult for protein molecules to remain anonymous, and increasingly easy for doctors and patients to detect the early stages of latent diseases, say investigators who have perfected a method of producing thin detecting films that are able to recognize specific proteins. This is an important step towards the construction of low-cost chemical sensors, identifying even small concentrations of protein disease markers in body fluids.
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Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a minimally invasive procedure for gallbladder removal, and one of the most common surgical procedures worldwide. While the procedure has a very high success rate, 1 in 200 patients will sustain serious bile duct injury, primarily due to misidentification of the biliary anatomy. With 800,000 procedures carried out in the United States each year, that means in the U.S. alone 4,000 patients will be seriously injured.

Current attempts to simplify bile duct identification rely on the intravascular injection of contrast agents and fluorescent dyes, which significantly increases the duration and complexity of the laparoscopic procedure. For this reason, these technologies are seldom used.

Members of the BioDesign: Medical Innovation program, created by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and its affiliated Hadassah Medical Center, set out to develop a solution to this problem.

"The laparoscopic procedure is so simple and fast that surgeons are reluctant to make it complex by adding new imaging modalities," said Dr. Muhammad Adileh, who led the BioDesign team. "We had to find a solution that wouldn't complicate things by changing the procedure or increasing operation time."

Partnering with Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, director of the Hebrew University's Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering, the team identified a unique spectrum of bile acid absorption. "We found that red light in the visible range is predominantly absorbed by bile acids in the biliary tree," said Nahmias.

Animal experiments showed the team was able to identify bile ducts just by switching the color and direction of incident light.

"This is a significant discovery," said Nahmias, "allowing surgeons to carry out the standard laparoscopic procedure and identify bile ducts with a single flip of a button."

The project, called CholeVision, will culminate in a dedicated laparoscopic tool that would allow surgeons to avoid bile duct injuries and their devastating consequences.

Video about CholeVision can be seen at: https://youtu.be/yTaqCaPOm7M.


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Materials provided by Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences. "Detection of proteins: We know how to build better locks for chemical keys." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 October 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151029112235.htm>.
Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences. (2015, October 29). Detection of proteins: We know how to build better locks for chemical keys. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151029112235.htm
Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences. "Detection of proteins: We know how to build better locks for chemical keys." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151029112235.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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